How can we care for our food behaviours during lockdown?
2020-05-07

By Laura Fuller & Devon Marnoch

With the current uncertainty in the world surrounding COVID-19, it is understandable that many people are experiencing heightened stress. From gym closures to working from home, the current changes in our daily routines may be challenging. This is an especially testing time for those with difficulties around food behaviours. Changes in food availability and shopping patterns could potentially jeopardise recovery or upset techniques that an individual has learned to keep well. Now more than ever, it is important to consider the impact COVID-19 could have on individuals who are challenged by their food behaviours and encourage mindful techniques that can be used during this time in order to cope with these changes. We’ve put together a number of techniques that may be helpful to use if you find yourself struggling to manage these behaviours:

Recommended coping techniques

1. Self-Care

We are all trying to adapt to new routines at the moment, but it is still important to take some time out for yourself. If you are currently staying at home more than usual, it might feel difficult to focus on your well-being. Take a step-back from social media and try to dedicate part of your day for an activity that you enjoy. This could be reading outside in the garden, a short meditation class using mindfulness apps such as Headspace or Mindspo, listening to a podcast or exploring creative projects.

2. Structure

For those with usually busy lives, the current lack of structure can pose challenges. Creating a planned structure for each day can help keep you grounded. Create a routine that involves getting up, getting dressed and doing something productive, whether that be simply tidying your bedroom or calling a friend. For those of you who are currently working from home, divide your tasks into small chunks and focus on achieving each one. Each small task will add up. Most importantly, whatever you are doing right now, try not to put too much pressure on yourself, some days will be more productive than others and that’s okay.

3. Reach out for Support

Remember that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, we all feel this way. This is an unprecedented time that none of us have experienced before. If you find yourself struggling in any way, do not suffer in silence - please reach out. Whether this be to those around you or a support system online, there are a number of networks in place to help you during this time and you don’t have to go through this alone.

4. Take-home message

If you are experiencing difficulties with food and eating right now, try taking time out to do things that you enjoy, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and most importantly let others know how you are feeling. Checking in with family and friends during current times is really crucial for everyone’s social health and wellbeing.

Resources

Photo legend: Images provided by artists at Unsplash.com

Published by The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

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